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Monetary Policy Review: RBI maintains key lending rate at 6.25%

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Mumbai, April 6: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its first bi-monthly monetary policy review of 2017-18 on Thursday kept its key lending rate (repo rate) unchanged at 6.25 per cent, while hiked reverse repo rate to 6 percent.

The announcements were made by Monetary Policy Committee, headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel.

GVA growth is projected to be 7.4% in 2017-18 as compared to 6.7% in 2016-17. MSF (Marginal Standing Facility) and the bank rate is 6.50 percent.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel said, “RBI focused on removing liquidity overhang in system. There was surge in liquidity in system after demonetisation that RBI had to absorb.”

The inflation is projected to be 4.5% for the first half of 2017-18 and 5% for second half of the year

General Govt deficit which is high by international comparison, poses yet another risk for path of inflation… 1/2: RBI in policy statement.which is likely to be exacerbated by farm loan waivers 2/2: RBI in bi-monthly monetary policy statement

“Consequent upon the narrowing of the LAF (liquidity adjustment facility) corridor, the reverse repo rate under the LAF is at 6.0 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate are at 6.50 per cent,” an RBI policy statement said.

“The decision of the MPC is consistent with a neutral stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth,” it added.

THe RBI said risks are evenly balanced around the inflation trajectory at the current juncture. “There are upside risks to the baseline projection,” it said.

“Inflation developments have to be closely and continuously monitored, with food price pressures kept in check so that inflation expectations can be re-anchored.

“At the same time, the output gap is gradually closing. Consequently, aggregate demand pressures could build up, with implications for the inflation trajectory,” it added.

At its last policy review in February, while holding rates at 6.25 per cent, the central bank had changed its policy stance from “accommodative” to “neutral”.

Expectations that the RBI will maintain status quo on rates had been fuelled by inflation numbers, with wholesale inflation soaring to over a three-year high of 6.55 per cent in February and retail inflation climbing to 3.65 per cent due to rise in food and fuel prices.

Wefornews Bureau

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PNB claims expected recovery of Rs 1,800 cr from “Mission Gandhigiri”

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Punjab National Bank
Punjab National Bank (PNB). (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) State-run lender Punjab National Bank is expected to recover around Rs 1,800 crore from its non-performing assets (NPAs) recovery mechanism — “Mission Gandhigiri” — which will soon complete one year of operation.

A senior bank official told IANS the mission, was launched in May 2017, had consistently delivered positive results with an average recovery of Rs 150 crore from the initiative.

“The mission was born out of the need to name and shame defaulters to increase societal pressure and urge them to pay back. Mission Gandhigiri has a dedicated recovery team across all circles of the bank,” the official, who did not want to be named, told IANS.

Accordingly, the passive recovery mechanism entails the team members to “visit the borrowers’ office or residence and sit their silently with placards that have hard-hitting messages such as ‘It is public money, please repay the loans’.”

On the legal side of the operation, following the government’s directions regarding wilful defaulters, the bank has declared 1,084 wilful defaulters.

“Due to PNB’s aggressive stance towards wilful defaulters, 150 passports have been impounded over the past few months,” the official said. Additionally, over the last 9 months, the bank has also lodged 37 FIRs against defaulters.

The bank is also leveraging data analytics for loan recovery and risk management.

“We have tied up with a leading credit agency and with the help of a third-party expert analytics, we will now be able to get access to contact information of PNB defaulters who have good credit record with other lenders,” the official said.

“This partnership is a part of the larger strategy to deploy technology to strengthen internal systems. This partnership will not only help the bank with loan recovery but will also help identify and automate profitable lending strategies and minimise credit and fraud risk,” the official said.

The bank has also recently started works towards “improving internal systems by incorporating analytics and Artificial Intelligence for reconciliation of accounts”.

In addition, two special OTS (One-Time Settlement) schemes have helped the bank to accelerate NPA recovery.

“From an average of recovering loan amount from 70,000-80,000 NPA accounts in a year, this move has resulted in recovery in 225,000 NPA accounts over a span of 10 months,” the official added.

“These schemes apply to small NPA accounts helping defaulters come out of debt.”

IANS

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Key Indian equity indices open flat

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Mumbai, April 20: The key Indian equity indices opened on a flat note on Friday.

At 9.17 a.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded at 10,558.15 points, down 7.15 points or 0.07 per cent from the previous close at 10,565.30 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 34,434.14 points, traded at 34,414.73 points (9.17 a.m.) — down 12.56 points or 0.04 per cent — from its previous close at 34,427.29 points on Thursday.

The BSE market breadth so far was bearish with 710 declines and 507 advances.

IANS

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Key equity markets rise on Asian cues, supportive metal, IT stocks

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Mumbai, April 19:  The key Indian equity markets traded in the positive territory on Thursday afternoon tracking strong cues from the Asian markets.

Heavy buying in the metal, IT and capital goods stocks also helped the market sentiment to remain positive.

So far, the S&P BSE metal index surged around 558.59 points, followed by the IT stocks which edged up by 125.58 points and capital goods stocks, by 120.60 points.

At 1.20 p.m., the wider Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded higher by 33.40 points or 0.32 per cent at 10,559.60 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 34,403.67 points, traded at 34,412.41 points (1.20 p.m.) — up 80.73 points or 0.24 per cent from its previous session’s close.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 34,478.82 points and a low of 34,358.91 during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was bullish with 1,265 advances and 1,082 declines.

“Markets gained in early morning trade as global Asian indices traded in green, following the US markets which closed with one per cent up-move,” said Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls.

On Wednesday, profit booking, along with heavy selling pressure in the banking sector stock, led the key Indian equity indices to break their nine-day gaining streak and end in red.

The Nifty50 fell by 22.50 points or 0.21 per cent to close at 10,526.20 points on Wednesday, and the Sensex closed at 34,331.68 points — down 63.38 points or 0.18 per cent.

On Thursday, the major gainers on the BSE were Tata Steel, Yes Bank, Bharti Airtel, Tata Consultancy Services and ONGC while Axis Bank, HDFC, Sun Pharma, Coal India and ICICI Bank were among the top losers.

On NSE, the top gainers were Hindalco, Vedanta and Tata Steel and major losers were BPCL, Hindustan Petroleum and Indian Oil Corp.

IANS

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